LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Senate has approved the tax plan designed by Democrats, who are now trying to work around the Legislature’s immediate effect rules to implement their plan right away.
The Senate voted Thursday afternoon to approve the package, which eliminates the retirement tax, expands the working families tax credit (formerly known as the earned income tax credit) and sends $180 inflation relief checks to taxpayers.
A second vote to give the bill immediate effect, which requires a two-thirds vote, failed.
Democrats are now considering resolutions that would suspend immediate effect rules so they could implement the tax plan right away.
Michigan Democrats, who hold both chambers of the state Legislature for the first time in decades, tried to push the tax package through last week, but they were stymied by political maneuvering from Republicans.
On Feb. 9, Democrats passed the measure in the House when they opened the voting board for a matter of seconds and then closed it once the minimum number of aye votes were in, leaving nay votes to vote by voice. The message was then sent to the Senate that afternoon, but Republicans were ready. When Democrats went into caucus, Republicans adjourned the Senate and went home, effectively delaying the vote.
The main sticking point for Republicans is how Democrats have reorganized yearly spending to prevent the automatic implementation of an income tax reduction. They’re sending $800 million to last year’s books to pay for the inflation relief checks, preventing the state surplus from reaching the point that would trigger the income tax rollback.
Republicans call it a bookkeeping gimmick. Democrats say their plan will give more money back to taxpayers.